16 August 2002

Dairy farmers dream is up for grabs soon

HELE Barton, a "dairy farmers dream" on the Devon/Cornwall border, is due to be launched soon with local agent KVN Stockdale.

The farm, guided at £2.5-3m for the whole, is a 700-acre milking unit at St Giles on the Heath, near Launceston, capable of handling over 400 cows with its current parlour. Simon Alford, who is handling the sale, says it is one of the best farms in the south-west, something confirmed by other agents in the region.

Despite the current slump in milk values, he reckons there will be plenty of bidders for the property. "This is a farm for the future. It will handle anything the milk industry can throw at it. There is good drainage and the grass is second to none. If you are serious about dairy farming go west."

For sale due to a change in the circumstances of the Rowe family, Hele Barton includes a number of attributes that should appeal to serious milk producers. A new 342-cow cubicle building with a hydraulic scraping system is suitable for buffer feeding and over-wintering of animals, while a modern slurry handling system supplies the UKs first anaerobic digestion plant at nearby Holsworthy.

Slurry is taken away free of charge and then returned in a form with a higher nutrient value than the original animal manure. Francis Rowe says this can save up to 40% of fertiliser costs and adds that the company running the digestion plant has offered to build a storage facility on the farm for the treated waste.

Mr Alford has split the disposal, which comes with two five-bedroomed farmhouses and four cottages, into 10 lots. The principal offering features the buildings, a 24:24 herringbone parlour, one of the farmhouses and 455 acres of ring-fenced land that includes three-quarters of a mile of fishing on the River Tamar. Asking price is £1.5m. &#42